Bentley, Nelson and Norberg win triple-division Midwest tourney

Nobody emerged unscathed. Two divisional winners hung on to win the second set of true double elimination finals, while one divisional winner knocked his opponent out of the hot seat. Tom Bentley came from the one-loss side in the Masters/AA division of the Midwest Poolplayers Association tour stop and defeated the room's house pro, Beau Runningen. In ‘A' division action, Chad Nelson gave up the first set of a true double elimination final versus Lonnie Olson, but hung on to win the second set. Likewise in the B/C division, with Scott Norberg coming back from an initial loss. The $1,000-added event, spread over the three divisions, drew 99 total players to Shooter's Billiards in Burnsville, MN on Saturday, January 15.

Bentley's journey in the Masters/AA division, which drew 30 entrants,  took him into the winners' side final four, where he was sent west by Mario Parayno 7-3. Runningen, after giving up the first five racks in his winners' side final four match, came back to defeat Weston Broad and move into the hot seat match versus Parayno. Runningen got into the hot seat with a 7-4 victory, his last of the tournament.

On the one-loss side, Bentley and Broad squared off in the quarterfinals, after dispatching Sean Mitchell and Dave Wiebelhaus. Bentley dropped Broad into fourth place 5-3, and then, with Parayno needing to reach 7, defeated him 5-5 in the semifinals. He took the opening set of the finals against Runningen 7-4 and then brought the deciding match to its final game, before sinking the 9 and claiming the Masters/AA title.

The double elimination finals in both the single A and B/C divisions of the event featured identical scores in both matches. Chad Nelson, among the 25 entrants signed on for the single A division, had defeated Lonnie Olson in that division's hot seat match 5-3. Olson came back from a semifinal victory over Terry Ryan, snapping a seven-game, one-loss side winning streak by Ryan, and won the opening set of the finals 5-2. Nelson came back to take the second set by the same score and secure the divisional win.

In the B/C division, which drew the most entrants (44), it was Scott Norberg and Dustin Burke squaring off in the finals. They'd met first among the winners' side final four, with Norberg advancing to the hot seat match and Burke moving over to the west bracket. Norberg then faced T-Roy Davidson, who'd sent Toni Johnson west. Norberg prevailed over Davidson 4-3 to gain the hot seat and waited for what turned out to be Burke's return.

Burke took on Mark Ellingsworth in the quarterfinals, after Ellingsworth had defeated Johnson. Burke went on to defeat Ellingsworth 4-2 and followed up with a 4-3 victory over Davidson in the semifinals. Burke then took the opening set of the true double elimination final 4-2. Like Nelson in the single A division, Norberg came back in the second set to defeat Burke by the same 4-2 score and win the divisional title.

1st Tom Bentley $500
2nd Beau Runningen $350
3rd Mario Parayno $250
4th Weston Broad $150
5th Sean Mitchell $100
Dave Wiebelhaus
7th Tony Hilla $75
Tony Zierman

Single A Division
1st Chad Nelson $400
2nd Lonnie Olson $250
3rd Terry Ryan $150
4th Luke Lund $100
5th Dan Temple $50
Brandon Huff

B/C Division
1st Scott Norberg $320
2nd Dustin Burke $240
3rd T-Roy Davidson $160
4th Mark Ellingsworth $120
5th Toni Johnson $80
Kurt Sneide
7th Scott Bergman $50
Jeff Meixner